Metaplastic breast carcinoma is a rare aggressive malignant neoplasm. The purposes of this study are to review the pathologic features and clinical outcomes of metaplastic breast carcinoma compared to invasive ductal carcinoma and to evaluate the prognosis of metaplastic breast carcinoma.Methods
The cases of 55 patients with metaplastic breast carcinomapresenting between 1991 and 2006 were analyzed and compared to the cases of 767 age-matched patients with invasive ductal carcinoma from the same time period.Results
The group of patients with metaplastic breast carcinoma presented with a larger tumor size, lower lymph node involvement, higher percentage of triple-negative (estrogen receptor-, progesterone receptor- and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2-negative) cases, and Ki-67 over-expression compared with the group of patients with invasive ductal carcinoma and triple-negative invasive ductal carcinomas. Patients in the metaplastic breast carcinoma group tended to have more local (often chest wall) recurrences (P = 0.038) and distant (often lung) metastases (P = 0.001) than those in the invasive ductal carcinomas group. The prognosis of metaplastic breast carcinoma was poorer than that of invasive ductal carcinoma and triple-negative invasive ductal carcinomas; the 5-year overall survival rate was 54.5% in metaplastic breast carcinoma versus 85.1% in invasive ductal carcinoma, and 73.3% in triple-negative invasive ductal carcinomas (P <0.001). The 5-year disease-free survival rate was 45.5% in metaplastic breast carcinoma versus 71.2% in invasive ductal carcinoma, and 60.3% in triple-negative invasive ductal carcinomas (P <0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed tumor size larger than 5.0 cm, lymph node involvement and Ki-67≥14% were significantly related to 5-year overall survival (P = 0.010; P = 0.010; P = 0.035) and 5-year disease-free survival (P = 0.020; P = 0.018; P = 0.049).